Wall of worry builds around the tech sector
US equity markets continue to absorb Facebook’s swoon which is weighing down FAANG’s ahead of Apple earnings announcement on Tuesday. Indeed the markets heavyweight champions are having a rough day, but US markets pruned much of their losses as bank stocks and surging oil prices boosted producers. But all eyes will remain on NASDAQ as the Wall Street wall of worry continues to build around the tech sector.
Interest rate markets are predictably in flux ahead of the numerous central bank announcements this week with the BOJ tomorrow, the US FOMC on Wednesday and the BOE on Thursday. No one is expecting any rate changes, but as always the statements will be closely analysed for any shifts in policy.
But the US dollar is still suffering a bit of a GDP hangover after squeezing higher vs G-10 peers on whisper numbers that were running exceptionally hot. But in the GDP aftermath, the USD bears continue to remind that 4.1% print was below consensus but more significantly, core PCE came in below expectations And while the GDP print keeps the Fed on a path for two more rate hikes in 2018, the markets are not buying in wholeheartedly given the lack of inflationary pressures.
Oil markets are starting the week on a very positive tone with prices trading bid throughout the NY session as supply concerns are making headlines once again Both Brent and WTI contracts are seeing strong support after three UK oil fields, Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin are shutting down due to labour strikes. All the while middle east geopolitical tensions recur as Saudi Arabia continues to halt their shipments via the vital Red Sea shipping lanes as ongoing attacks from Houthi rebels take their toll.
Also, Trump’s auto plan continues to influence prices as the rollback in US efficiency requirements is projected to increase fuel consumption by some 500 K barrels per day.
The markets are trying to turn bullish on the hope for some type of relief rally, but prices remain entirely at the fate of the US dollar. The Yuan has continued to weaken throughout the day and has pressured prices lower. It’s taking little to spook gold longs suggesting as the markets remain decidedly bearish ahead of the critical central bank decisions.
Not making much of current price actions given summertime liquidity feel to FX markets as the subtle ebb and flows are more apt to little more than position driven given the tricky calendar of events in the days ahead. And to complicate matters, month end is approaching with quant signals suggesting USD selling portfolio adjustments.
USDJPY still hovering around 111 ahead of the highly anticipated BoJ policy meeting. And while it’s unlikely the BoJ will lay a summertime hawkish horror story on the markets, there has been enough noise to suggest that something is afoot. And while USDJPY could gap higher on the lack of hawkish inference, but the markets will likely continue to bank on a fall review which should temper upside moves. At this point, the general market consensus is for a downgrade on CPI forecast to 1.5 % from 2 %
USDCAD with WTI surging, its been playing positively into CAD trading sub 1.300 before midday profit-taking set in and WTI traded off intraday highs.
EURUSD: The Euro has been trading firmer today on the back of higher EU Zone yields suggesting we could see a move to the top side of the current ranges.
GBPUSD: Cable has been rangy” but with the lack of Brexit noise Sterling shorts are being pared.
AUDUSD: The Aussie short remains a crowded trade but with month-end dollar selling likely to develop into month end shorts are getting covered.
USDCNH Spot continues to move higher even though the fix was lower than market expectation. There is little news, but the lack of progress on the trade war front coupled with little pushback from the PBoC suggests the USDCNH has room to run higher.
USDMYR: Oil prices have been mildly supportive, but the MYR continues to be weighed down by the weaker Yuan and uncertainty over trade war. But with the plethora of central banks taking the stage this week. The local trader is waiting to take their cues from both BoJ and the FOMC forward guidance.